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Upgrading Current PC or New Build ?

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March 16, 2012 3:10:56 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Not in a rush by any means but in the next few days lets say

Budget Range: $800ish before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mainly, some video and photo editing, surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS (Running Windows 7 Pro 64bit), Case ( Full Tower Thermaltake Armor +) and Power Supply (Have a PC Powering & Cooling 750Watt Silencer)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Would like to stick to AMD, but I did throw together a Intel system to see what the cost would come out too.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Crossfire maybe in the future, although the last two computer I build I bought the motherboard with that in mind and never even got around to getting a second GPU.

Monitor Resolution: Current monitor is at 1680x1050, with future possiblity to get a 1980x1080 monitor

Additional Comments: Originally I wanted to just upgrade the one I had by grabbing a Phenom II since the first Gen Phenoms were not the best, upgrading the GPU and getting some more RAM and maybe get a SSD. But now that I look the RAM I need is very scarce and expensive I might add compared to the new stuff out in addition my CPU cooler ( Asus Lion Square) blocks my other RAM slots so I would have to either find a new cooling solution or modify the one I have now to be able to fit 2 more sticks in. The 4870 I have now runs most of the things I have play decently but some of the new stuff ( BF3, Shogun 2) I have to tone down settings, unconsistant FPS and no DX11 of course, also the CPU is not the best I've come to find out. As far as getting an SSD just wanted to try it out since my computer is extremely slow, but I can hold off on that and put that money towards a GPU since it would benefit me allot more for gaming, I was looking at getting a 7870 when they become available in the next week.

So the question is do I dump money into the current one to try to get some more life out of it thats going on 4 years old or just start off fresh and have some future upgradability later on when Piledriver comes out ?


Current System coming up on 4 years old:
Thermaltake Armor + Full Tower Case
M3A32-MVP Deluxe AM2+ 790FX
AMD Phenom I I 9950 Black Edition OC to 3.1ghz
4gigs DDR2 Corsair Dominator running @ 800mhz
ATI 4870 512mb
1TB Western Digital Black HD
PC Powering & Cooling 750Watt Silencer
Asus LionSquare CPU cooler



What Im looking at purchasing:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...


Any opinions and suggestions welcome!


Thanks,
Orlean
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 3:37:28 AM

Pretty nice setup. Yea, I would do a new build rather than spend money in upgrading that one. Heck, you can reuse your PSU, HDD and Case, nothing wrong with them.

I've got that CPU, it runs pretty nice, don't OC it on the stock fan though. What I would suggest if you want one (something I should have done) is get the OEM version (without a fan)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And just order a nice one. The cooler I'm using, it works out to be almost the same if you bought the boxed version with that lousy, noisy stock fan. The stock fan leaves you virtually zero room for a stable OC. In my opinion, its barely adequate for stock speed. Despite my sig, I did dial mine back to 3.9ghz. The hyper N520 does handle 4.0ghz, but it gets closer to the max temp then I'd like it under Prime95... . (Which pushes the CPU harder than any program would- just a personal preference- call me a safety nerd)

As far as the cooler blocking RAM, Corsair Vengence is high profile, and I have no clearance issues with the RAM.
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March 16, 2012 3:51:33 AM

nekulturny said:
Pretty nice setup. Yea, I would do a new build rather than spend money in upgrading that one. Heck, you can reuse your PSU, HDD and Case, nothing wrong with them.

I've got that CPU, it runs pretty nice, don't OC it on the stock fan though. What I would suggest if you want one (something I should have done) is get the OEM version (without a fan)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And just order a nice one. The cooler I'm using, it works out to be almost the same if you bought the boxed version with that lousy, noisy stock fan. The stock fan leaves you virtually zero room for a stable OC. Despite my sig, I did dial mine back to 3.9ghz. The hyper N520 does handle 4.0ghz, but it gets closer to the max temp then I'd like it under Prime95... . (Which pushes the CPU harder than any program would- just a personal preference- call me a safety nerd)

As far as the cooler blocking RAM, Corsair Vengence is high profile, and I have no clearance issues with the RAM.



Yeah thats what I planned on doing is reusing all those components. Reason for getting the boxed version verses the OEM was not because it includes a cooler but mostly for the fact the OEM version only have a 30 day warranty compared to the 3 year that the BOX version does - made more sense to spend the extra money on that just for the warranty in my opinion.

As far a CPU cooler, I had it listed in the "parts not needed" area but I added it to my current system list, but I have a Asus LionSquare CPU cooler that keeps my 140watt 9950 thats overclocked fairly cool. I was planning on getting a Corsair water cooler sometime though.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 3:56:31 AM

Really? I didn't notice the fine print on the OEM warranty. Good thing you pointed that out, now I don't feel like such a schmuck for getting the boxed CPU.

As far as your cooler.. I'm half awake. I probably did miss a pertinent detail in your post. I thought I read that you were having clearance issues with the RAM with that cooler. I'll try to say something more intelligible tomorrow. In the meantime, good night and good luck!
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March 16, 2012 4:40:49 AM

I would get more life out of that one. Your CPU isn't holding you back THAT much if you are mostly into gaming. Do a fresh install of Windows if your computer is super slow and focus on upgrading that GPU.

It isn't a direct comparison to your situation but I've seen charts comparing the gaming performance of a Core 2 part and a Sandybridge i7 part in gaming performance with the same GPU and they were withing 5% of eachother most of the time and basically always within 10%. You Phenom II is still fine
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March 16, 2012 10:53:15 AM

nkarasch said:
I would get more life out of that one. Your CPU isn't holding you back THAT much if you are mostly into gaming. Do a fresh install of Windows if your computer is super slow and focus on upgrading that GPU.

It isn't a direct comparison to your situation but I've seen charts comparing the gaming performance of a Core 2 part and a Sandybridge i7 part in gaming performance with the same GPU and they were withing 5% of eachother most of the time and basically always within 10%. You Phenom II is still fine



I currently have the first generation Phenom I 9950 140watt CPU, from the imformation I was able to get the Phenom II is on average 10-20% faster depending on the application.

Here's a benchmark comparing the AMD PH I 9950 to a AMD PHII 980

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=362
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March 18, 2012 1:35:33 PM

Bump, any input and opinions welcome.
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March 18, 2012 1:57:05 PM

Orlean said:
Approximate Purchase Date: Not in a rush by any means but in the next few days lets say

Budget Range: $800ish before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mainly, some video and photo editing, surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS (Running Windows 7 Pro 64bit), Case ( Full Tower Thermaltake Armor +) and Power Supply (Have a PC Powering & Cooling 750Watt Silencer)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Would like to stick to AMD, but I did throw together a Intel system to see what the cost would come out too.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Crossfire maybe in the future, although the last two computer I build I bought the motherboard with that in mind and never even got around to getting a second GPU.

Monitor Resolution: Current monitor is at 1680x1050, with future possiblity to get a 1980x1080 monitor

Additional Comments: Originally I wanted to just upgrade the one I had by grabbing a Phenom II since the first Gen Phenoms were not the best, upgrading the GPU and getting some more RAM and maybe get a SSD. But now that I look the RAM I need is very scarce and expensive I might add compared to the new stuff out in addition my CPU cooler ( Asus Lion Square) blocks my other RAM slots so I would have to either find a new cooling solution or modify the one I have now to be able to fit 2 more sticks in. The 4870 I have now runs most of the things I have play decently but some of the new stuff ( BF3, Shogun 2) I have to tone down settings, unconsistant FPS and no DX11 of course, also the CPU is not the best I've come to find out. As far as getting an SSD just wanted to try it out since my computer is extremely slow, but I can hold off on that and put that money towards a GPU since it would benefit me allot more for gaming, I was looking at getting a 7870 when they become available in the next week.

So the question is do I dump money into the current one to try to get some more life out of it thats going on 4 years old or just start off fresh and have some future upgradability later on when Piledriver comes out ?


Current System coming up on 4 years old:
Thermaltake Armor + Full Tower Case
M3A32-MVP Deluxe AM2+ 790FX
AMD Phenom I I 9950 Black Edition OC to 3.1ghz
4gigs DDR2 Corsair Dominator running @ 800mhz
ATI 4870 512mb
1TB Western Digital Black HD
PC Powering & Cooling 750Watt Silencer
Asus LionSquare CPU cooler



What Im looking at purchasing:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...


Any opinions and suggestions welcome!


Thanks,
Orlean

instead of getting a 220$ motherboard get a i5 2500k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and now you have 160$ for the motherboard. Just came across this ram- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 10$ cheaper and still high quality ram. now with 170$ for the motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 180$ 10$ more than your budget but that's not bad. This board has the same # of phases as the p8z68-v pro making it a steal at this price.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2012 2:48:38 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
instead of getting a 220$ motherboard get a i5 2500k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and now you have 160$ for the motherboard. Just came across this ram- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 10$ cheaper and still high quality ram. now with 170$ for the motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 180$ 10$ more than your budget but that's not bad. This board has the same # of phases as the p8z68-v pro making it a steal at this price.



Why do people insist on ignoring what the OP is asking for? I ordered a Cheeseburger, quit trying to talk me into taking a hotdog. lol

From OP:

Quote:
Parts Preferences: Would like to stick to AMD, but I did throw together a Intel system to see what the cost would come out too.


I will say that I agree. that Mobo seems on the north side of expensive, and I'm not sure what the advantage of it is for the extra money. My Sabertooth was cheaper, they aren't kidding when they say "military toughness" this board is like a brick. Spec wise, I can't see how it has any better features than the Sabertooth.
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March 18, 2012 4:14:34 PM

nekulturny said:
Why do people insist on ignoring what the OP is asking for? I ordered a Cheeseburger, quit trying to talk me into taking a hotdog. lol

From OP:

Quote:
Parts Preferences: Would like to stick to AMD, but I did throw together a Intel system to see what the cost would come out too.


I will say that I agree. that Mobo seems on the north side of expensive, and I'm not sure what the advantage of it is for the extra money. My Sabertooth was cheaper, they aren't kidding when they say "military toughness" this board is like a brick. Spec wise, I can't see how it has any better features than the Sabertooth.

I know he said "stick to AMD" but once I saw this:
Quote:
Gaming mainly
I thought it was quite obvious that the intel i5 2500k was the way to go. If he wants to stick with poor technology and performance go ahead. the intel i5 2500k will give him much better performance in almost every application you can think of for a computer than the x4 975.
some benchmarks- http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Core-i5-2500K-vs...
this does say "In some games the Phenom II X4 975 was faster than the i5 2500k" but lets remember overclocking capabilities. the i5 2500k can be overclocked to 4.5ghz with ease giving it a huge boost over the 975. the 975 is much less efficient and one would be lucky to get 4.0ghz out of it. not to mention x4 975 uses 30w more at idle.
with all of this information why would anyone pick AMD if they had the budget to get an i5 2500k?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2012 4:16:50 PM

Page 13, I see the 975 running just fine in Direct X 11..


Page 12... Same deal
Can you tell the difference between 42FPS and 45FPS? LOL, I don't think most people really could despite their claims.


Page 10.... 77FPS vs 78FPS


And besides, what is the point of overclocking to 4.5GHZ? Your gaming performance is more heavily influenced by the graphics card anyway. Theres really no point in splurging on the processor, and overclocking the crap out of it for a game. Games simply don't use CPUs to their full potential, and I don't seem them doing so for some time.


BTW, edited my post, to remove some "dick statements" i made, sorry if you read them before i could edit.

As to why anyone would stick to AMD, well... Like I said, whats the point of the 80 dollars more CPU? 80 bucks for another 2 or 3 FPS?
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March 18, 2012 4:45:48 PM

nekulturny said:
Right,, so you're one of those people who thinks that just because Sandy Bridge is out that Phenom IIs are trash, and always were from day one.. Got it... We won't be getting along too well on this forum, so I'll avoid further interaction with you.

BTW, look at your link..

Page 13, I see the 975 running just fine in Direct X 11..


Page 12... Same deal
Can you tell the difference between 42FPS and 45FPS? LOL, I don't think most people really could despite their claims.

I dont think you read what I said. I said that if one has the budget to make an i5 2500k rig they should get one. I do not think AMD is trash overall. They are fine for budget rigs but with a budget like this an i5 2500k is the best option. I am no intel fanboy; get your facts right and read what I said.

I also adressed the:
Quote:
Page 13, I see the 975 running just fine in Direct X 11..


Page 12... Same deal

I dont know why I need to reiterate it but i will. Because one can overclock the i5 2500k easily and to higher clock rates than the x4 975 can achieve, it makes the i5 2500k much better for gaming because high er clock rates in most cases give higher frame rates. I want you to go through this link from unbiased Tom's Hardware- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a... . Please do not come back talking about the Battlefield 3 and Dirt 3 benchmarks it specifically said in the article "Given such lush DirectX 11-class visuals that tax modern GPUs, we won't be able to draw any conclusions using Battlefield 3's campaign." --> it goes on to say how the cpu is used more in multiplayer for battlefield 3. Since dirt 3 has no multiplayer i might recommend the x4 975 over the i5 2500k if the user was ONLY playing Dirt 3.

I would also like to draw your attention to the conclusion-
Quote:
With the sub-$100 Pentiums performing so well, Intel's $125 Core i3-2100 easily beats more expensive Phenom II and FX models. And the $190 Core i5-2400 dominates the sub-$200 landscape without challenge, really. As such, we're almost-shockingly left without an AMD CPU to recommend at any price point.

Now I look at benchmarks I am no fanboy. If you think I am in any way biased towards Intel than you must think Tom's Hardware is too.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2012 5:13:08 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
I dont think you read what I said. I said that if one has the budget to make an i5 2500k rig they should get one. I do not think AMD is trash overall. They are fine for budget rigs but with a budget like this an i5 2500k is the best option. I am no intel fanboy; get your facts right and read what I said.

I also adressed the:
Quote:
Page 13, I see the 975 running just fine in Direct X 11..


Page 12... Same deal

I dont know why I need to reiterate it but i will. Because one can overclock the i5 2500k easily and to higher clock rates than the x4 975 can achieve, it makes the i5 2500k much better for gaming because high er clock rates in most cases give higher frame rates. I want you to go through this link from unbiased Tom's Hardware- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a... . Please do not come back talking about the Battlefield 3 and Dirt 3 benchmarks it specifically said in the article "Given such lush DirectX 11-class visuals that tax modern GPUs, we won't be able to draw any conclusions using Battlefield 3's campaign." --> it goes on to say how the cpu is used more in multiplayer for battlefield 3. Since dirt 3 has no multiplayer i might recommend the x4 975 over the i5 2500k if the user was ONLY playing Dirt 3.

I would also like to draw your attention to the conclusion-
Quote:
With the sub-$100 Pentiums performing so well, Intel's $125 Core i3-2100 easily beats more expensive Phenom II and FX models. And the $190 Core i5-2400 dominates the sub-$200 landscape without challenge, really. As such, we're almost-shockingly left without an AMD CPU to recommend at any price point.

Now I look at benchmarks I am no fanboy. If you think I am in any way biased towards Intel than you must think Tom's Hardware is too.


You're absolutely right, I didn't read what you said, thats why I edited my post, I was accusing you of not reading something when I hadn't read what you had said properly. You have my apology for my original post.

As far as multiplayer stuff. I can't comment on it too much, The only online game I play is a java based MMORPG that uses a single core. So I guess I'm in the boat of the guy who is "only playing Dirt 3". LOL

I would say based on the final summation of the link you posted (and yes, I will read the whole thing when I have some more time, I have bookmarked the link) Am I to understand they're giving benchmarks of an overclocked 2500k vs stock speeds of everything else? I won't say its unfair, but it seems like it wouldn't be an accurate representation.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2012 5:33:21 PM

Update, I did have time to read through it. Real life obligations are overrated. :D  . Interesting. Not much really to say about it, btw, I don't dispute the 2500k is the best around for gaming, (even before I bought my system). The question is,, how much better is it for the cost, thats where I have trouble being persuaded, even after reading the link you gave me and many others.

My biggest gripe with Intel (and why I personally don't purchase their products) is their lack of backwards compatibility. Arguably, AMD has had a better track record of this. From a purely consumer standpoint, and not a techie one, I'm not a fan of having to trash completely operational components in order to upgrade to something better. I know with computers this really can't be avoided, but AMD is better at easing the pain of transition. Phenom IIs are both backward and forward compatible from their generations. Meanwhile, Intel made people buy new motherboards to upgrade to Sandy Bridge, so they say you wont have to for Ivy Bridge, but... seeing is believing.
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March 18, 2012 9:27:33 PM

The last two systems I built were AMD systems, I am somewhat a fan of there products and never had any problems with both builds. Although I have ever assembled or used a Intel system, but I can see clearly that Sandy Bridge wins hands down in almost everything given the increase in price of around $10-50 over the AMD system depending on what Motherboard I go with.

Heres one I put together, picked a ASrock Mobo that got good reviews. Ive always used Asus boards so I dont know if saving $50 justifies getting the ASrock verses the Asus ?

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Or for $630 I can grab ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 Mobo as mjmjpfaff stated.

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2012 9:37:52 PM

Orlean said:
The last two systems I built were AMD systems, I am somewhat a fan of there products and never had any problems with both builds. Although I have ever assembled or used a Intel system, but I can see clearly that Sandy Bridge wins hands down in almost everything given the increase in price of around $10-50 over the AMD system depending on what Motherboard I go with.

Heres one I put together, picked a ASrock Mobo that got good reviews. Ive always used Asus boards so I dont know if saving $50 justifies getting the ASrock verses the Asus ?

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Or for $630 I can grab ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 Mobo as mjmjpfaff stated.


The only thing I really see in terms of features that disappoints me with the Asrock board is it only gives you 2 6/GB satas. If you're a hard drive queen like I am, thats kinda disappointing. The Asrock board also doesn't have a lot of USB ports.

Of course, I'm looking at the Asus board, it doesn't seem to have any more. I guess for that budget either would work in terms of features, me personally, I'd like some more ports.

At least for me, I'd be looking at something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW, the UEFI BIOS is awesome!
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March 18, 2012 10:07:34 PM

Orlean said:
The last two systems I built were AMD systems, I am somewhat a fan of there products and never had any problems with both builds. Although I have ever assembled or used a Intel system, but I can see clearly that Sandy Bridge wins hands down in almost everything given the increase in price of around $10-50 over the AMD system depending on what Motherboard I go with.

Heres one I put together, picked a ASrock Mobo that got good reviews. Ive always used Asus boards so I dont know if saving $50 justifies getting the ASrock verses the Asus ?

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Or for $630 I can grab ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 Mobo as mjmjpfaff stated.

that asrock motherboard is good for its price. do you still need to buy a gpu?
what cpu cooler are you using because that high profile ram can get in the way?
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March 18, 2012 11:34:26 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
that asrock motherboard is good for its price. do you still need to buy a gpu?
what cpu cooler are you using because that high profile ram can get in the way?



I think I'll stick to the Asus board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as GPU Im waiting for AMD 7870's GHz edition to be released sometime this week ( I can see newegg already has one listed as auto notify). Im going to have to drop the SSD and put that money towards the GPU sadly since Ive wanted a SSD as a boot drive for awhile but I guess I can always get that later on. I decided to hold onto my ATI 4870 512mb card for awhile and skipped the 5xxx & 6xxx series cards so Im due for an upgrade.

The cooler I have is http://www.asus.com/Thermal_Solution/Multiple_platform/... - it doesn't support the LGA 1155 socket so I would have to get something else, would like to get a Corsair H60 or H70
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March 19, 2012 4:04:15 AM

good choice on the gpu but I also implore you to wait a few weeks on the gpu (if you are not already to see what kepler brings. the 680 is due out this friday)

if you are getting an H series cpu cooler than that ram is fine.
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